Yamanaka’s work features strikingly original compositions and unique arrangements, introducing the element of surprise into some of the most famous songs in the jazz, pop and classical repertoire.
The pianist regularly performs across the globe, with recent U.S. concerts at venues including Carnegie Hall, Yoshi’s, and the Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, as well as frequent tours in Japan and Europe. Yamanaka has become a multimedia celebrity in Japan, hosting her own radio show, making TV appearances, and authoring a book, The Landscape With Jazz. Keeping pace with her whirlwind tour schedule is Yamanaka’s prolific international recording career with Universal. Releases include her creative reworking of Beatles classics on the tributes Because, Molto Cantabile, After Hours 2, and Reminiscence.
In 2014, Yamanaka completed My Favorite Blue Note, released by Universal Music in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records. The album features the pianist’s selection of classic Blue Note tracks, along with two new original tracks. She recently appeared in the 75th Anniversary celebration concert, “Blue Note Plays Blue Note.”